On May 10 1999 my Students and I will travel to the seat of Fujian Martial Arts in Fujian China. This is one of many visits resulting from years of close association with the authorities in question.
The purpose of this trip is to foster a yet stronger relationship with the Southern Shaolin ancestral styles and all the various and wonderful styles that exist in that region. The ultimate aim is to note and publish a book or several books about all the different style in that region, some seldom seen outside China.
The attitude of the old generation Chinese martial artists who stayed behind in their country is like a blast of fresh air. They have weathered the passage of time and are still around untouched by western influence (so far) and most importantly still alive (some well into their 80's and 90's). Their knowledge and abilities must be beyond my wildest imagination. They have actually lived through three periods of China's last century. The feudal system, Mao's era and the present day mix of monetary liberties and the post Mao era. An insight into their experiences, beliefs, and survival through the changes that led to the fruition of the present Wushu is a must for any martial artist.
As I have pointed out in my Tenets:
"No matter to what level a Master reaches, the basis of his art does not recede but rather becomes more integral to his way of life."
The Masters I meet in China have gone beyond mere physical excellence, reaching the boundaries of spiritual balance. They are living examples of what the Tenets mean - they are like the water that keeps running and wears away the rocks so that the river can change its course. The ability to accept a situation, to change it if at all possible, to outlast the horrors of change, to bide one's time and to improve the situation when the time is ripe - all this takes a patience and fortitude beyond our modern day understanding.
These are the people who have inherited the legacy of Shaolin.
- 11 May: 19:20 Arrive at Fuzhou Airport
- 13 May: Visit Police College and see their training.
- 14 May: Travel to Yongchun, meet Masters of Yongchun White Crane.
- 15 May: Travel to Quanzhou in the afternoon, meet Masters of Wuzhu and Taizhu style
- 16 May: Travel back to Fuzhou and meet Fuzhou White Crane Masters
- 18-19 May: Travel to Yongtai and Gutian County, meet Tiger and Dragon style Masters